When you're competing at the top level of football, player fitness is imperative. At Manchester City, the physio and sports science teams were experiencing issues with their communications systems at both the stadium and the academy. The analogue system had a number of black spots and a lack of clarity, which meant player safety was potentially being compromised both in training and on match days.
Manchester City, UK
X1p Portable Radio
Manchester City FC have announced the roll-out of a Hytera radio communications system. The Physio team at City's training site are now using 32 Hytera X1p radios throughout the week and at matchdays, with significant safety benefits noted already.
Their previous radio system was causing problems. It was analogue, with basic radios, and there were a number of black spots wherever the radios were taken. This frequently happened in stadiums where the medical and security teams specifically needed to avoid drop-outs in coverage.
With player health and safety an absolute priority, the physio team undertook extensive research into the wireless communications market, and decided to commission a Hytera system through Pennine Radio, a leading Hytera dealer based in Manchester.
The chosen system enables clear communications for the physio team, with one-to-one calls, efficient use of the RF spectrum to maximise call capabilities, encryption of voice calls, emergency functionality and multiple user groups. Equally, there are channels for on-site and off-site during away games.
The result is that the physio team are consistently able to react quickly, without fear of coverage dropping out. One medic will be watching instant replays of potential player injuries, and is now able to quickly get incident assessments to the team manager, Pep Guardiola via the Hytera radios.
Sports Therapist Mark Sertori undertook a full review of the market and chose Hytera as the best option for the club thanks to its design and build quality. He contacted Hytera who put him in touch with local radio dealer Pennine Radio, who implemented a system with 32 X1p radios.
From a single-group Analogue system, the Medical, Sports Science and Security teams at Manchester City now use a DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) system, with four groups, enabling security channels to be split out from the Sports Science and Medical groups who may need to share sensitive information.
The club's requirements were simple: everyone should be contactable, wherever they are.
The results, even in the early weeks of running the Hytera DMR system, have been excellent. There are no black spots any more, even when communicating across parts of the stadium where there are thick concrete or metal walls. Communications are crystal clear, which means that there is less potential for misunderstanding of vital treatment information.
On match days, the physio team are able to analyse instant replays, and quickly relay information to the touchline team about injuries, treatments and player fitness levels. That information is instantly given to Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, who can make an informed decision about a player's injury.
What's more, sensitive information is encrypted, meaning that sports science and medical teams can communicate safely and securely at all times.
During the week, the radios are used at the training ground and the academy, where they receive their fair share of knocks and are frequently dropped. However, the radios are rugged and suffer no ill effects, meaning that they are perfect for the rough and tumble of a busy football club.
——Mark Sertori, City's Sports Therapist